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Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is an American public corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, (in Silicon Valley), that provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news, and social media websites and services. Yahoo! was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995.
On January 13, 2009, Yahoo appointed Carol Bartz, former executive chairman of Autodesk, as its new chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.
According to Web traffic analysis companies (including, com Score Alexa Internet, Netcraft, and Nielsen Ratings), the domain attracted at least 1.575 billion visitors annually by 2008. The global network of Yahoo! websites receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007[update]. It is the second most visited website in the U.S and in the world.
Early history (1994–1996)
Yahoo! co-founders Jerry Yang (left) and David Filo (right)

In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford University. In April 1994, "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!", for which the official expansion is "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle". Filo and Yang said they selected the name because they liked the word's general definition, which comes from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: "rude, unsophisticated and uncouth". Its URL was

By the end of 1994, Yahoo! had already received one million hits.[citation needed] The Yahoo! domain was created on January 18, 1995. Yang and Filo realized their website had massive business potential, and on March 1, 1995, Yahoo! was incorporated. On April 5, 1995, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital provided Yahoo! with two rounds of venture capital, raising approximately $3 million. On April 12, 1996, Yahoo! had its initial public offering, raising $33.8 million, by selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each.

Like many search engines and web directories, Yahoo! diversified into a Web portal. In the late 1990s, Yahoo!, MSN, Lycos, Excite and other Web portals were growing rapidly. Web portal providers rushed to acquire companies to expand their range of services, in the hope of increasing the time a user stays at the portal.

On March 8, 1997, Yahoo! acquired online communications company Four11. Four11's webmail service, Rocketmail, became Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! also acquired and turned it into Yahoo! Games. Yahoo! then acquired direct marketing company Yoyodyne Entertainment, Inc. on October 12. On March 8, 1998, Yahoo! launched Yahoo! Pager, an instant messaging service that was renamed Yahoo! Messenger a year later. On January 28, 1999, Yahoo! acquired web hosting provider GeoCities. Another company Yahoo! acquired was eGroups, which became Yahoo! Groups after the acquisition on June 28, 2000.
When acquiring companies, Yahoo! often changed the relevant terms of service. For example, they claimed intellectual property rights for content on their servers, unlike the companies they acquired. As a result, many of the acquisitions were controversial and unpopular with users of the existing services


Registered domain names are restricted to using the same characters as all other hostnames, as such they typically can only use ASCII letters, numbers, the hyphen (-), with the dot (.) used to separate DNS labels. Since this definition does not allow the use of many characters commonly found in non-English languages, and no multi-byte characters necessary for most Asian languages, the Internationalized domain name (IDN) system has been developed and is now in testing stage with a set of top-level domains established for this purpose.

The underscore character is frequently used to ensure that a domain name is not recognized as a hostname, as with the use of SRV records, for example, although some older systems such as NetBIOS did allow it. To avoid confusion and for other reasons, domain names with underscores in them are sometimes used where hostnames are required.

Domain names are often referred to simply as domains and domain name registrants are frequently referred to as domain owners, although domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the name, only an exclusive right of use.


The following example illustrates the difference between a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and a domain name:

Domain name:
Registered domain name:

As a general rule, the IP address and the server name are interchangeable. For most Internet services, the server will not have any way to know which was used. However, the explosion of interest in the Web means that there are far more Web sites than servers. To accommodate this, the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) specifies that the client tells the server which name is being used. This way, one server with one IP address can provide different sites for different domain names. This feature goes under the name virtual hosting and is commonly used by web hosts.

For example, as referenced in RFC 2606 (Reserved Top Level DNS Names), the server at IP address handles all of the following sites:

When a request is made, the data corresponding to the hostname requested is provided to the user.

Official assignment

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has overall responsibility for managing the DNS. It administers the root domain, delegating control over each TLD to a domain name registry. For ccTLDs, the domain registry is typically installed by the government of that country. ICANN has a consultation role in these domain registries but cannot regulate the terms and conditions of how domain names are delegated in each of the country-level domain registries. On the other hand, the generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are governed directly under ICANN, which means all terms and conditions are defined by ICANN with the cooperation of each gTLD registry.

Domain names are often seen in analogy to real estate in that (1) domain names are foundations on which a website (like a house or commercial building) can be built and (2) the highest "quality" domain names, like sought-after real estate, tend to carry significant value, usually due to their online brand-building potential, use in advertising, search engine optimization, and many other criteria.

A few companies have offered low-cost, below-cost or even cost-free domain registrations with a variety of models adopted to recoup the costs to the provider. These usually require that domains be hosted on their website within a framework or portal that includes advertising wrapped around the domain holder's content, revenue from which allows the provider to recoup the costs. Domain registrations were free of charge when the DNS was new. A domain holder (often referred to as a domain owner) can give away or sell infinite number of subdomains under their domain name. For example, the owner of could provide subdomains such as and to interested parties.